Summer plans: practice and enjoy sports in USA

You sign your scholarship, hop on a plane and play all season long for your university. In May you proceed to ace your finals…and then what? It’s fairly common for our VT Sports athletes to return to their homeland after a lengthy freshman year far from their families.

In today’s blog entry we are going to discuss three alternative possibilities to spend your summer.

Play ITFs or national tournaments

College tennis in the United States is more demanding than ever before. A star player can no longer afford not to touch a racket during the summer and preserve her or his No. 1 status in the upcoming Fall. It is very likely that one of our teammates who’s coming off an underwhelming campaign is going to work extra hard in order to impress our coach in late August.

Many coaches set up a round robin tournament within the squad throughout the Fall season. If last year’s borderline No. 6 is all of the sudden the most solid member of the team, the head coach will certainly reward her effort.

Those players who aspire to become tennis professionals tend to play plenty of ITF events over the summer to amass as many ATP or WTA points as possible. Thus, they will enjoy a head start once their collegiate career comes to an end. For instance, Cameron Norrie, the British standout at Texas Christian University who has just been awarded a Wimbledon main draw wildcard, collected more than 200 ATP points despite only competing over the summer and winter breaks. After three successful years at TCU, he has decided to turn pro, with the massive edge that entails being already ranked in the top 250.

Our players Celia Cerviño Ruiz (East Carolina) and Marta Huqing González Encinas (Georgia) have participated in several ITF events since returning from overseas. Congrats to Marta for her outstanding run to the singles final in Guimaraes (Portugal), where she ousted local favourite and former WTA No. 102 Maria Joao Koehler in the semis!

Caveat: It’s necessary to make sure your earnings do not outweigh your expenses so that you don’t lose the amateur status; i.e. if the USTA decides to give you a US Open wildcard you can’t take the prize money if you intend to keep playing NCAA tennis after the tournament.

Work as a teaching professional in the USA

There are tons of job openings in this industry. You guys probably know someone who’s going the Hamptons, Florida or to some other country club in America to become a tennis instructor. As far as I’m concerned, these are superb opportunities to get your feet wet in a working environment.

Directors of tennis hold active college players in high regard, so do not hesitate in exploring this option.

Caveat: The F1 visa itself doesn’t allow to work in the USA. You must obtain a Social Security Number. In case you are interested, you should talk to you international advisor and/or the student athlete advisory committee. Feel free to ask your coach for a letter of recommendation.

Summer School

Welcome to the life of a college football or basketball player! These folks use part of their summer to take several courses so that they carry the minimum number of credits during the competitive season.

Can you imagine having only four courses each semester instead of six? It’s very likely the in-season trips would be more enjoyable considering you wouldn’t have to study at the airport every time.

Not all universities offer summer school. Other institutions decide not to include this option on the scholarships.

But you can always request information for free.

Text: Pablo Mosquera